Worcester, MA --- Giovanna Pickering (Hull, MA) poured in a team-best 18 points and Linnett Graber (Roseland, NJ) added 11 as the visiting Babson women's basketball team withstood a late WPI surge to claim a 55-53 NEWMAC victory Saturday afternoon at Harrington Auditorium.
WPI scored the final eight points, including an old-fashioned 3-point play by Amaia Gritsko (Milford, CT) with 39 seconds left to draw the game within a single basket, but Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) couldn't convert a last-gasp 3-pointer.
Gritsko led all players in points (19) and rebounds (10) for her second double-double. She shot 8-of-9 from the field with 11 points in the second half.
Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) also loomed large down the final stretch. Morgan (11 points) sank all three WPI 3-pointers, but none bigger than her trey with 1:53 left. Morgan hit a jumper the next trip down ahead of Gritsko's late and-1 play.
Davis was also a top contributor for WPI, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds, along with four blocks. She struggled from the field, though, shooting 4-of-17 to mirror a WPI shooting slump (28.1 FG%) in the second half.
WPI (8-11, 6-8 NEWMAC) held its final lead, 40-39, after Gritsko free throws with 9:42 to play, but Babson reeled off a 12-0 run led by six points from Pickering (Hull, MA). The rally opened up the Beavers' largest lead, 51-40, with 6:31 left. Pickering was big all game for Babson (9-10, 9-6 NEWMAC) with 18 points.
The Engineers jumped in front off of the game's opening possession and led through halftime, with a Morgan 3 sending the home side to its biggest lead of the afternoon, 22-13, over with 5:36 to go in the first half.
Davis had WPI's final four points of the first half to make it 28-21 at the break.
Babson's Graber scored seven of her 11 points in the first half, including five of her seven free throw makes. Graber also had seven rebounds. Briana Hunt (Newton, MA) was the Beavers' third-leading scorer with eight points, doing all of her damage in the second half, including two 3-pointers. Megan Otto (Scituate, MA) stuffed the stat sheets with five points, six boards, four steals, three blocks and an assist.
Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA) pulled in seven rebounds and Jessica Larsen (San Diego, CA) added six boards in just 15 minutes, helping WPI gain a 46-32 rebounding advantage, including a 22-12 edge on the offensive boards.
WPI picks back up with a 7:30pmhome game against Smith on Wednesday, the middle fixture of a three-game homestand. Meanwhile, Babson is back in action 8pm. Wednesday, hosting NEWMAC newcomer Emerson.
Release by Carl Setterlund - WPI Athletics Intern - Emerson '14